DASH Cross Country 2012 Wisconsin Homeschool Championships Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

Greenfield Park, October 20th. A perfect mid-50’s, partly-sunny day. A meticulously painted, flagged, and measured course. That was the setting for the second annual Wisconsin Homeschool Cross Country Championships. The DASH team was host to seven other homeschool teams from all over the state. Very competitive battles were expected in all four events, and the DASH team was involved in them all.

The high school boys took the field first. Jacob Dickman led the young DASH team from the start. He stayed strong to the end and was the first freshman to the finish line for an impressive 6th place finish. Senior Zachary Marek started running with the DASH team in 2005 and this was to be his last cross-country race. He made it a good one by posting a top-20 finish. John Sherman was back. He was still feeling the effects of his recent illness, but gave us a much needed good effort to place 23rd overall. Hudson Nyhart was also coming back from an illness. He ran hard and gave his all, finishing very tired to help the team as our 4th scorer. Zebulon Caspers may have had his best race of the year as he finished right behind Hudson with a very good time. Jeremy Marek had a good finish, staying ahead of two others at the end to cap off a good effort by the boys.

In the high school girls race, Andrea Beck stayed in a pack behind the leader the whole way. She stayed strong to the end to finish 6th overall. It was Emily Caspers last race. She has been with team since its inaugural year and was looking to give the team one more good race. She had one of her best races of the year and ended up in 16th place. Makayla Gergeni showed off her nice stride while wearing DASH yellow for the first time this season. Makayla edged out Kristin Ulfeng at the finish. Kristin ran her usual steady race to close out her second season with the team. Renee Walters was back for the Championships. She kicked it in at the end to stay ahead of two others which turned out to be important in the team scores posted later.

The boys middle school race was the most competitive race of all, with four very good teams competing for just two trophies. Christian LeSac and Holy Family Warrior Elijah Skalsky made it a two man battle for first. Christian was a stride ahead as they headed for the finish. Elijah then made a valiant attempt to pass, but Christian had too much left and was able to get the victory and the important one point that goes with it in the team score. There were seven boys who were vying to be the third runner in. The DASH team’s Briton Kostrzewa was one of them. He held off all but one to give the team a fourth place finish. Three Liberty runners, four NEWCHAA athletes, and a couple more Holy Family boys came in next. This race was staying very close. We needed to see some DASH jerseys soon, and that is exactly what we got. Titus Kostrzewa, Samuel Zinkgraf, and Joe Hughes all came in together, finishing 16th, 17th, and 18th. We needed strong races from all of them and they did not disappoint. It would be a wait for the official results, but I liked our chances at this point. Glenn Kaboskey came in next, hoping to add some points to the other teams. Daniel Caspers followed Glenn. He had his best race of the year, and was the first 4th grader to the finish. Leif Kostrzewa, in his first championships, battled his way through the course as usual. He will be one to watch in future years. Joshua LeSac led Joshua Anumolu to the finish. They both had good races and came in close behind Leif. Westley Marek struggled early, but showed off his speed at the finish to be our next runner in. Elijah Anumolu ran hard again to complete our good boys team.

In the middle school girls race, Faith Caspers led the way for our young DASH team. She got out to a good start, struggled a little at the end, and settled for a 7th place finish. Rebecca Dickman looked good in yellow as she ran her first DASH race, striding in to a 9th place finish. Abigail Larkin was the next runner in giving the team three top-10 finishes. Zipporah Caspers had foot problems and came in a disappointing 17th. Kayla Walters’ ankle slowed her down some, but she was able to come in right after Zipporah with a good effort. Our team score was not as good as hoped, but it was good enough to put us in the race for a tropy. Grace Zinkgraf was back running well to be our next girl in. Julianna Caspers gave us her usual steady effort and cracked the top-30. Rebekah Marek and Mia Wickman struggled this race. They are young and will help us in this race in the future.

The award ceremony came and the DASH fans had plenty to cheer. Jacob Dickman, Emily Caspers, and Andrea Beck were our high school award winners, while Abigail Larkin, Rebecca Dickman, Faith Caspers, Titus Kostrzewa, Briton Kostrzewa, and Christian LeSac were called up to the front for the middle school team. We certainly took our fair share of the awards. The much anticipated team scores were announced. Our high school boys finished fourth and our high school girls third. That was encouraging. The high school team is very young and will be looking to move up some the next few years. It was a relief when we found out our middle school girls captured the second place trophy by just two points. We ran just fast enough! Our middle school boys proved to be too much for the other teams in the very tough boys race as they were announced the winners by six points, just 14 points ahead of fourth. It was close, but we did it! That was a victory we can savor for a while. Overall it was a very good day for the DASH team!

Special thanks go out to Pete Dickman for setting up the course and dealing with the hassle of renting the park properly. Thanks to Jilleen Pfarr for organizing the meet. She did a good job. Thanks to Ed Beck for helping get the picnic tables arranged properly and off the course. Thanks to all the parents who helped with the picnic, and thanks to the picture lady who helped capture the meet in photos. The meet was all I had hoped it would be. It had that championship feel, yet in the end it became a picnic where homeschool families came together to socialize and enjoy each others company. We have made a lot of friends on the other teams now, and the friendly competition which has resulted really makes this meet fun. It was a great way to end the season.

Now the off season is upon us. It is time to give the DASH Blog a rest, do more school with the kids, and prepare for track and field in the spring. The season goes by fast, but the off-season does too. I hope to see you all back for track in March. Until then,

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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